Nuffield (4171) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2002
Bottle No: 19570, drunk 28 October 2002 to celebrate the birth of my second child (and first boy). Happy Birthday Aidan John Edward Schmidt! This was a fabulous beer--better than my recollection of the famed 1999 vintage. Pours with the kind of head that I generally don’t like--a little bit loosely constructed and quick to diminish. Enchanting aroma, with raisins, caramel, and woody notes, with some slightly fresher fruitiness anticipated in a hint of grape. The flavor is the great unifier: something to put an end to squabbles over "hops vs. malts"--malts are obviously apparent, but the fuggles(?) come out clearly and cleanly. Sweet aftertaste, but firmly in balance. I just can’t wait to take my next creamy, full-bodied mouthful and as a result I’m drinking it too fast! My warning to slow down is the alcohol which keeps rising through. It is a warmingly alcoholic flavor, however, quite unlike the ugliness found in some alcoholic flavors. There are complexities all over the place to take one’s mind off the alcohol, including the sense that there are some autumnal fruits in here (grapes, and black currants) not to mention the caramel, like some strange concoction (caramel-dipped currants soaked in port wine) that you might find on offer at a century-old fall festival in some out-of-the-way New England town. It all works so well. I’m over the moon about this beer and my son. A toast, to Aidan! maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2011
Bottle at the 5th Annual Richmond Industry Gathering on 11/28/2010 courtesy of Mike. Cloduy amber body with a small white head. Sweet honey and fruit aroma. Sweet fruit, caramel and honey flavor. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation.
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JUL 29, 2004
In the bottle at the 2004 Crescent Moon Vintage Beer Tasting. Amber to pink in color. So buttery. High in esters. Fruity and bulbus. I should start buying these up and aging them. They get graceful. beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
Pours a murky amber color with no head. Aroma and flavor of doughy yeast, rockets candy, mild alcohol and maybe lavender. Light to medium body, creamy mouthfeel, soft carbonation. LinusStick (3459) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2009
WOW! Thanks Paiste2002 for this rare gem! Can’t imagine what this would taste like fresh but this is a true testament to age a beer. This was DELICIOUS! Aroma was perfect; Strong caramel with a hint of caramel malt. Pour was a nice murky dark gold with a one finger off white head. Taste was like an alcoholic Sugar Daddy with a rich malty aftertaste. I don’t have the patience to age a beer for over a year, but this beer has made me turn a corner. Thanks, Paiste2002!
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2008
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. 10 years old! Bottle #27359. The cloudy, muddy, medium-brown body with a thin bubbly edge really isn’t much to look at, but who cares when you’re talking about a decade old brew as nice as this one. The aroma shows sweet caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, brown sugar, and copious amounts of vanilla. This one smells like Tahitian vanilla beans have been steeped in the dark liquid all this time. The flavor is quite sweet, with caramel and brown sugar malts showing strong. There are still some flowery hops left within, which is surprising given its age. The medium-full, syrupy body is well carbonated and smooth. Good stuff. This has aged incredibly gracefully. Eyedrinkale (3214) - Astoria, New York, USA - OCT 11, 2004
Cloudy brown with more head than I’d expect from something of this vintage. Aromas of dried fruits and mostly sticky sweet malts. First impression was I’m glad we drank this when we did, as it’s either right at it’s prime or a few months past. Taste is mostly malt with some esters that keep this still drinkable. Mild hop bitterness, mellow orange peel, and toffee. kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 26, 2007
50cL bottle, courtesy of ClarkVV @ BCTC 2007. Thanks, Clark! Pours a clear, ruby-red color; off-white head with large-bubbled retention. Dense, dried red fruits and caramel in the aroma. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: dried red fruits and chewy, oxidized caramel; pleasant dense caramel and belgian sugars. Lengthy, brown sugar and dry yeast finish. Very sugary and sweet. auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - NOV 29, 2006
UPDATED: APR 12, 2008 Forceful aroma of rich, spicy old muddled raisins with cognac and pints of fresh cold farm cream. This blends into a succulent, fruitcake yeast waft. Yum! Deep orange-hued tan sienna, with bronzed fringes and a creamy soap of ivory. Flavor is along the same wonderful threads as the aroma, with bright, fruity cream malt and lots of aged raisins and currants. Fresh, wild strawberry shortcake syrup highlights. Continuing with loads of toffee, blueberry muffins, and freshly minted caramel. Light salty edges. The malt character yields into a mash of spicy, bready yeast character, mellowed with time. Bright lemony hop flavor remains distinct lightly in forefront of flavor, but mostly as British-type grass smack. No age problems, whatsoever, time has only significantly helped this beer. This beer is the epitome of excellence for me, with each character standing strong, yet allowing others to show when it’s their time. First the creamy malt, then the caramel aged fruit sweetness, then the yeast, then the hops and all swirled around a graceful, binding and absolutely desirable alcohol. Wow. PhillyBeer2112 (2850) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 15, 2003
Sampled 2000: Possibly the best of the Vintages, although sampled at 2 years of age, the 2000 sampled in 2002 reminds me of this one: dark amber, full head, rich raisiny and fruity notes, and dark earthy hopping. Creamy and smooth palate. Such a beautiful beer.